The community is undergoing maintenance and is in Read-Only mode. Click to learn more.

VMware Solutions Discussions

FAS 3020 - should I get one?


Hello Community,

I am new to SANs, I want a Netapp SAN that can handle multiple shelfs. My ultimate gola is to have one shelf serve my Xenserver environment and the other as a NAS who will be acting as just expansion space for my servers who are almost out of local space.

I do not need tons of storage, I just need about 500GB for my Xenservers and another 500G for my additional NAS space.

I have a limited budget of about 4K, so I think I can swing an "ebayed" FAS3020 with 2 shelves with 24x300GB drives. This should be sufficient for me, I could always add more shelves.

What are your thoughts, remember my idea of a FAS 3020 could be very incorrerct b/c I am unfamiliar with Netapp devices.

Do you think I can get better for my needs? What ones do you recommend?

Thanks in Advance



The easiest way is to ask them for the output of the CLI commands `version` & `license` but there's no guarantee they're not faking it. If you're buying from an Ebayer seller make sure they've got a good feedback record and from there you just have to trust them. Another site for second hand IT kit is but I think you need to create an account to use it.

Below is a screenshot showing the latest versions of Data Ontap you can currently download:

View solution in original post



I would also consider if your company has auditing that NetApp licenses are not transferrable so the exisitng licenses are void when transferred (some excpetions if a company is acquired and some netapp leases where there is a special letter noting the serial # of the system).  Not to rain on the parade though (all good discussion here) but from a legal perspective there might be legal consideration.


Thats what I was concerened about and the seller was not willing to sell with software until he called Netapp and they said it was transferable? Or is he just trying to make a sale. At the company I work for, we dont go through audits.

But I will have to consider that its not transferable and may not go for this used device/licenses.


NetApp clearly states no transferrable licenses, but I have seen the lease exception (when it was a NetApp lease with a letter...but don't think those exist or not many out there) and we did have a customer that was acquired and NetApp was good about transferring title within that since it wasn't being sold on eBay or transferred to another company.  I would be weary about trusting anyone without the proper documentation and they should provide it if they say they have it.


Awesome advice, Thanks!!!!


It's hard to say whether a FAS3020 will be up to the job without knowing your requirements in more detail e.g. number of host/client systems, IOPS etc.

All NetApp filers use Data Ontap and therefore have all the functionality within it provided it's licensed, this is something you'll want to check before you buy. For example in your case you'll need NFS and/or CIFS to be licensed for your NAS data and possibly FCP or iSCSI if you're using those for Xenserver.

The way NetApp filers work isn't necessarily one shelf for this and one shelf for that; you assign disks to RAID groups within aggregates and then create flexible volumes within the aggregates, but you can segregate the different data types as you're looking to do.


Thanks for the reply andrc,

I only want 2 Xenserver hosts running on it, which will only use about 500G total. Then for the NAS, I just need another 300G for a couple servers.

I was looking around on the internet for Installation Guides and its pretty hard to find anything on this FAS3020. Maybe its easy and click button stuff?

I just dont know anything about storage and dont want to go "all in" on this FAS 3020 if its something that no one wants or is too outdated. But I guess I have to keep in mind that I am looking for a SAN solution for 4K, which is pitiful.

Is the FAS 2030 ancient or is it still something that is modern? What would you buy or look to get a good deal for about 4K?



At the end of the day you have to work within your budget so it's a case of finding the best deal for the money. The FAS3020 was launched around 7 years ago but you can still get fairly recent versions of Data Ontap for it, provided you have an account for the NetApp NOW site.

It's not just about the amount of data it can handle, like any system it only has finite resources but by the sounds of what you want to run it should be fine.

Initial set up is done via console connection on the command line, you run the command `setup` and it'll run you through a text based wizard to configure hostname, network interfaces etc. Once the filer is up and reachable on the network you can use the GUI via web browser: http://filername/na_admin

From there it's just a case of creating your aggregates/volumes and setting up CIFS shares, NFS exports and LUNs to be presented by FCP/iSCSI.

As I said before, confirm which features/protocols you ned on the filer and make sure the licenses are included in the cost as they can be more expensive than second hand hardware....


Hi Andrc

Great info. I just read up on Data Ontap, I guess I need to ask the seller what version on Ontap is installed, if any. Is there a specific Ontap version I should not go beyond?

Sounds pretty straight forward, I just have to use the CLI for the NIC setup then I will be able to log into Ontap, then the fun begins.

I will also make sure that the licenses are in-line of my needs. Thanks for the tips!

How should I ask the seller for confirmation of the licenese and Ontap? Should I get screen shots of Ontap from the seller? What other ways can I tell that my Ontap software if up to par?



Keep in mind that the 3020 is no longer supported for ONTAP 8.0 and up.  7.3 is the last version of ONTAP that is supported(and with the sizes you specified should not be an issue) and it will not support the new shelf types using SAS cards, which ties you into DS14MK shelves.  As long as there is no intention of exceeding these limits, the 3020 is a decent workhorse. 

Our 3020 cluster is running our VDI pilot with about 75 virtual desktops, VMware datastores, and some NFS and CIFS.

- Scott


Hi Scott,

Thanks and I will keep that in mind. The seller is actually loading up new software on the 3020 and I think configuring everything else for me. (that what I think)

I just hope he will be able to prove it is all functioning properly before I purchase. I will ask for them to execute commands and send me screen shots.

I guess I will have to stick with the DS14MK shelves, I dont think I will need too many shelves, but may have to look on ebay if I need more.

cool, good to know its a good workhorse and you did not say they are peices of junk or a model that Netapp "screwed" up on. I am more confident to purchase one of these now.

I am planning on only having a couple XenServers on them with only about 20 VMs which I think require the iSCSi license? Also I want to mount some extra storage on a couple of my Windows servers, so I guess NFS or CIFS should work for me to accomplish this task, but have to make sure that the 3020 is licensed properly for the NFS and CIFS.

How do you use the storage sharing feature of the 3020? My ultimate goal is to have a dedicated amount of data from the 3020 and "serve" this new space to a windows server. The only way I know about is using the Microsoft iSCSi initiator on a single server, creating a few folders, then sharing out those folders to other servers. Is this the best method of accomplishing this goal? Am I  on the right track?




If you are just looking for general storage for your Windows servers, the filer impersonates a Windows file server extremely well.  AD integration, including authentication, auditing, even management via MMC. 

A quick rundown, not in depth by far.

You create aggregates(but being used, your's may be done), these are the storage pools just like if you were using raid in your server.  The biggest exception is NetApp is very good at using multiple raid groups for one storage pool.

Once the filer is up and running, join it to AD with cifs setup(this is simple but involved, I think there are some good posts in the forums here if I remember right)

From there you create volumes, essentially your partitions on a Windows server, but you don't want to store anything here.

vol create 'volume name' 'aggregate name' 'size'

vol create citrix aggr0 1000g

From there you create qtrees, this is essentially a partition within a partition.

vol create /vol/citrix/server1

vol create /vol/citrix/server2

At either the volume or the qtree you tell the file system it will be NTFS

qtree security /vol/citrix ntfs


qtree security /vol/citrix/server1

qtree security /vol/citrix/server2

Open the MMC, connect to another server

enter your filer name

Voila! you see what servers believe is a Windows server and can now setup shares to each of the qtrees you created through the GUI or command line.

Now this is very simplistic, but it gives you a good idea of the flow.  Once you get familiar you can create new vols, qtrees, and shares in seconds..NetApp is really good at simplicity.

- Scott



Thanks for the help, what a good solution and explanation of the steps I will have to preform, exactly what I was looking for.

The Netapp community is very helpful! Good people here!

Thanks again.


The easiest way is to ask them for the output of the CLI commands `version` & `license` but there's no guarantee they're not faking it. If you're buying from an Ebayer seller make sure they've got a good feedback record and from there you just have to trust them. Another site for second hand IT kit is but I think you need to create an account to use it.

Below is a screenshot showing the latest versions of Data Ontap you can currently download:

View solution in original post

NetApp on Discord Image

We're on Discord, are you?

Live Chat, Watch Parties, and More!

Explore Banner

Meet Explore, NetApp’s digital sales platform

Engage digitally throughout the sales process, from product discovery to configuration, and handle all your post-purchase needs.

NetApp Insights to Action
I2A Banner